Christmas is just around the corner, and I honestly cringe at the thought of garbage bags getting filled up with unrecyclable wrapping paper. It’s one of the things I dislike most about this festive time of year.

For years, I have been wrapping my kid’s presents (birthdays and Christmas) in packing paper from Amazon purchases. This works out well until I run out of the paper. I also wrap Santa gifts in different wrapping paper than presents from us, so I do still use traditional, unrecyclable wrapping paper for some presents.

This ends NOW! There are many other options for eco-friendly wrapping paper than just reused packing paper.

Today, I am going to explore some store-bought and homemade eco-friendly wrapping paper options. So whether you like things already done, or you are an enthusiastic DIYer, you are bound find some earth-friendly gift wrap alternatives that suit your needs.


Don’t have time to plan out your wrapping paper or your creative gene is non-existent? No worries, there are plenty of store-bought eco-friendly options available.


Wrappily is a company which prints cool looking, unique designs for any occasion on 100% recyclable newsprint.

Not only is this wrapping paper recyclable, it is printed with soy-based ink so it is also compostable and biodegradable. How awesome is that?!

You can purchase this gift wrap directly from their website, or Amazon here.

Joyin Kraft Wrapping Paper

Joyin has a line of 100% recyclable wrapping paper.

If you love traditional looking Christmas gift wrap, this might be the eco-friendly option for you!

This wrapping paper is high-quality and thick, so it should not be an annoying, corner-ripping disaster when it comes to wrapping your gifts.

You can purchase this wrapping paper, as well as recyclable tissue paper from their website or Amazon here.

Ruspepa Gift Wrap

This is another 100% recyclable gift wrapping option for those who like the look of traditional wrapping paper.

Printed on brown kraft paper, it is high-quality and thick. The patterns are so cute, they are bound to spruce up the pile of presents under anyone’s tree!

You can purchase this traditional wrapping paper conveniently here on Amazon.

Eco Kraft Wrapping Paper Roll

This is your blank canvas, standard brown kraft paper at its finest!

Ready to be drawn on, or stickered up, or simply accessorized with a decorative bow. The decorating possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

Eco Kraft (link to Amazon) paper is 100% biodegradable and made from 100% recyclable materials. Now that is pretty awesome!

Reusable Fabric Gift Bags

Don’t have a lot of time for wrapping gifts? These reusable gift bags are perfect for you! Simply put your item in the bag, cinch it closed, and tie it in a bow. That’s it, no muss no fuss. You don’t even need any tape!

What’s really cool is that the recipient of your gift can reuse the gift bag (Amazon link) for someone else and keep the eco-friendly train chugging along. If an immediate family member is the lucky recipient, you can just fold it up after they are done opening the gift and use it again on the next gift-giving occasion.


Wicker baskets are a wonderful, underutilized way to add a little something extra to your gift.

Whether you are gifting some scrumptious Christmas treats, delicious bread, homemade jam, or just in charge of bringing the rolls to dinner, using a basket (Amazon link) to display your amazing gifts will add a unique element to your recipient will love.


Yep, you can use a scarf to wrap a present! I love the idea of the wrapping paper being part of the gift. It adds a unique and functional element that your recipient is sure to appreciate and enjoy.

Wondering how the heck to wrap with a scarf? You’re not the only one! Thank goodness for YouTube. Here is one of many tutorials that can help you figure out just how to do that.

Tea Towel

Again, wrapping a present with a tea towel means the recipient gets an awesome bonus gift and no waste! Reusable and eco-friendly, how can you go wrong?

Of course, size does matter when choosing which gift to wrap in a tea towel. A small-ish square or rectangle item is best.

Check out this quick tutorial and see just how easy it is to wrap a present with a tea towel.

Brown Paper Bags

Have you bought a pack of paper lunch bags years ago, and they have been sitting in your pantry cupboard ever since? (Maybe that’s just me!) Well, get them out of your pantry and onto a gift!

Wrapping is a great way to use up excess brown paper bags taking up space in your closet.

You don’t have to have a small gift that fits inside the bag, you can also wrap larger presents by cutting the paper bags. Check out this article for a step-by-step method on how to wrap a present with a brown paper bag.

Reusable Shopping Bags

Instead of buying traditional, non-recyclable gift bags try using reusable shopping bags instead.

Reusable shopping bags are stronger and greener than traditional gift bags. Not to mention the recipient can use the bag to gift a present for someone else or use it for shopping.

These cute Christmas-themed bags (link to Amazon) would brighten up any pile of gifts under the Christmas tree. As well, they are not over-the-top Christmassy, so you could probably get away with giving them at any gift-giving occasion.

Mason Jars

mason jarI personally love giving gifts in mason jars. When my father-in-law was visiting us for Christmas last year, I filled a mason jar with his favorite candy from the bulk food store. He loved it. Come to think of it, I did the same for my sister-in-law and kids. Maybe I’m not the most creative person in the world, but I did not get any complaints!

You don’t have to limit mason jars to just candy, you can put jar recipes in them like cookies which I also give to my sister-in-law who loves to bake. We bake them together so part of the gift is a bonding experience too, which we both look forward to every year (as we live far apart).

You can also pair a mason jar with a reusable straw and tea bags or preferred drink of the recipient. They make great candle holders as well. The possibilities are endless, just ask Pinterest!


Want to use what you already have lying around the house to wrap your presents. No problem, give these ideas a try.

Packing Paper

Have you ever ordered anything from Amazon? Chances are you have and it has been packed with brown paper so your product does not get damaged in shipping.

Don’t just throw this paper out or recycle it just yet. Reuse at gift wrap first. This is such a simple way to wrap a present. I usually draw on it or write a message for the recipient (usually my kids). That way I don’t feel the need for a card, either. If you’re giving the gift to other family members or friends, get your kids to draw on the wrapped gift, grandparents love this!

Old Calendars

What an ingenious way to reuse your old calendar! Wrapping paper, who would have thought? Creative people, obviously!

Calendars are a colorful, unique way to wrap a gift. Use the date side or the picture side, the choice is yours!


Another cool idea is to use maps to wrap your gifts. You might have some laying around from a previous road trip or vacation.

Using a map will definitely set your present apart from all the others. It’s too unique and interesting to not notice. Even if you have marked a route with a marker on your used map, it just adds character as a wrapping paper. You can’t go wrong using a map!


Now, I know we have all wrapped a present in newspaper before. I remember saving the comic section of the local paper (when it was an actual section of the newspaper and not just a page) so I could wrap a birthday or Mother’s Day gift with it.

We don’t all read the news from a paper anymore, but we still get our fair share of junk mail, so why not reuse it as gift wrap. Use whatever you have on hand be it newsprint or flyers, they make a great, easy, recyclable gift wrap.


Using your own or your kids artwork is a fabulous idea for gift wrap. I don’t know about you but my kids bring home a ton of artwork from school and to be honest I don’t keep all of it. Sorry kids, I can only keep so many scribbles on paper. Now, instead of secretly recycling their works of art, I wrap their grandparents presents with them. The kids think it’s cool to use their art as wrapping paper and the grandparents absolutely love receiving their meaningful gift wrap. It’s win-win.

Since I’m not very artistic, this works well for me. If you are blessed with the gift of painting or drawing, you can make your own art and make someone’s day with your creative, thoughtful gift wrap.


I know scarves and tea towels were previously mentioned, but you may have to purchase those items. This method uses fabric you have on hand already.

If you’re crafty or a wanna-be crafter, you may have some chunks of fabric hidden in your closet from a blanket or other project you have made (or haven’t gotten around to making yet).

Using fabric to wrap gifts is not new. It was popular in Japan during World War II. It even has a name.

Furoshiki are a type of Japanese wrapping cloths traditionally used to transport clothes, gifts, or other goods.

Curious as to how to wrap gifts using furoshiki? Check out this detailed blog post by 1 million women.


While any one of these eco-friendly gift wrap options are amazing on their own, a little bit of accessorizing could take your gift to a whole new level of awesomeness!


The iconic gift topper, traditional and beautiful, they look great on top of any gift.

Most of the time for large presents, a bow is all that is needed a top a gift, no wrapping necessary!

Luckily, there are many eco-friendly options for bows, traditional and non-traditional alike.


Yes, simply reuse your bows from previous gifts. Keep any bows you receive in your big box of wrapping supplies and pass them along to another lucky recipient on the next gift-giving occasion. Hopefully they will do the same!

Twine or String

Sounds easy, right? It is! Just wrap some string or twine around your gift, tie it in a bow at the top and Voila! Instant bow!

Feeling outdoorsy? You could snip a sprig off of a pine tree or some red berries and add it to your twine to bring a little bit of the outdoors inside. Your gift will look sophisticated and sleek, the lucky recipient will be sure to notice and appreciate the extra effort.


If you’re crafty and have some extra material hanging around, you can make your own reusable bow. A fabric bow on top of a present looks amazing and shows the recipient how special they are that you took the time to actually MAKE the bow yourself.

Here is a tutorial, if you want to give it a try.

Pom Poms

Pom poms are a super cute, original way to top off your gift.

This is a pretty straight forward DIY project great for using up some leftover yarn you may have laying around.

Tissue Paper

Tissue paper is the finishing touch to most gift bags. You have made the effort to choose a reusable, eco-friendly gift bag, so what are some green tissue paper options?

Store Bought

You can purchase recyclable tissue paper for your gift.

This tissue paper (Amazon link) claims to be 100% recyclable, reusable, and biodegradable.

Sounds like a great eco-friendly option for your tissue paper needs!


That’s right, just like the bows, keep the tissue paper you received from previous gifts and give it again when you need it.

Since most tissue paper is non-recyclable, this is a good way to get as much use from it as possible.

Cards and Tags

To complete your present,  and to know who it is going to, finish it off with an eco-friendly card or tag.

Store bought

Look for 100% recyclable cards or tags. Since it is pretty difficult to reuse a greeting card with someone’s name already on it, it can at least be recycled after the obligatory display time has lapsed.

A unique option for cards is plantable cards. That’s right, plantable. Green Field Paper Company makes greeting cards for all occasions.

Each card is handmade from 100% recycled materials that are embedded with an array of wildflowers. How cool is that? It’s the gift card that keeps on giving!


If you received a particularly nice card and do not want it to end up in the garbage or recycling, but also don’t need it hanging around your house forever, try cutting it up into unique little gift tags.

Chances are there is no writing on the picture side of the card, so why not cut it up and make some original gift tags out of it.

This is a great way to get more use out of a previously used greeting card.

What did I miss? How do you wrap your gifts? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *